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All About Ribs: Tasty Tips and 10 Can’t-Fail Recipes

Ribs hold a place in the cookout hall of fame, but how much do you know about this meaty summer favorite? We’ve got a Ribs 101 on the always delicious, but sometimes intimidating barbecue all-star and 10 lip-smackin' recipes. 
Entertaining July August 2022

vs. Beef
The main
distinction between ribs is pork versus beef. Pork ribs are
leaner with a mild flavor that works as a blank canvas for all kinds
of flavors.  The
versatility and smaller size of pork ribs makes them a popular choice for home
Beef ribs are
larger (earning them the nickname “dinosaur ribs”) with more meat and fat on
the bone and a more prominent, meaty flavor. For this reason, beef
ribs are typically prepared with a minimum of additional ingredients, allowing
the taste and texture of the meat to shine
Which ribs
should you choose?
The type and
cut of ribs you choose makes a big difference when it comes to flavor and
cooking time. The cuts of
pork ribs available at the butcher counter include:
Baby Back Ribs
(sometimes called “back ribs” or “loin ribs”). This is the leanest, most tender,
and, typically
priciest cut of pork rib. The name baby back
refers to their small size, which makes them the quickest cooking cut. 
This longer, flatter cut is less tender than baby
back, but has more meat between the bones. Spare ribs also have more fatty
marbling, giving them more flavor and natural moisture.  

Louis-style Spareribs
This popular cut is trimmed of excess bones and cartilage
more than regular spare ribs, giving the rack a more uniform, rectangular shape. 

Despite the name, this cut actually comes from the loin, not the ribs, making
them closer to bone-in pork chops. The meaty texture can withstand higher direct
heat without becoming tough and dry like other pork ribs. 
Beef ribs are
separated into two main cuts:
Short ribs.
for their rich, beefy flavor, short ribs are five small ribs that come from the
chuck area of the cow, sold both bone-in and boneless. Cut from a thick muscle,
short ribs require a long cook time to become tender, but the ultra-flavorful
meat is worth the wait. 

Cut from behind the shoulder, back ribs come from the same area as beef rib
roast. You can think of these large ribs (typically 6-8 inches long) as prime rib
with bones, though the muscle and cartilage content require a longer cooking

to Cook
All ribs
benefit from a low and slow cooking method
to coax out
maximum flavor and tenderness. Oven roasting at a low temperature, braising
(using the oven, stovetop, slow cooker, or Instant Pot®),
grilling over indirect heat, and smoking are all tasty options.  
For pork
ribs, we love the two-step method of roasting or braising then finishing on the
backyard barbecue
for craveable,
smoky flavor. 
Ready to get
your ribs on? These tasty recipes are sure to be a hit, no bones about it. 
Cherry Cola Spare Ribs

smoky-sweet pork ribs will have everyone at the barbecue licking their fingers
clean. The tangy glaze combines barbecue sauce and cola with fresh summer

Smoked Ribs

Classic smokehouse flavor takes a
shortcut in these fall-off-the-bone baby backs. Adding wood chips to the grill
creates a smoky finish for fork-tender ribs that cook mess-free in the oven.

with Pineapple Slaw

For a satisfying summer meal
without a ton of work,
fully cooked ribs from the deli paired with fruit
and veggie slaw are a
no-brainer. Cabbage slaw mix tossed with fresh pineapple and peanuts adds a
bite of tropical crunch alongside fully cooked St. Louis-style spareribs that heat
up in minutes on the grill.  

Sweet and
Spicy Red Curry Ribs

Thai-inspired pork ribs are certain to be a standout at your next cookout.
Their umami-rich flavor comes from a fiery-sweet sauce made with cream of
coconut, red curry paste, and sriracha. 

Cooker Boneless Beef Short Ribs

The slow
cooker makes it easy to coax rich taste and succulent texture from boneless
beef short ribs. Cooking in a simple braising liquid of onions, garlic, red
wine, and vinegar perfectly complements
the ribs’ naturally robust beef flavor. 

Black Pepper
Baby Back Ribs

If you like
your ribs dry rubbed and spicy, these peppery baby backs might become your new
favorite. The oven-braised then quick-grilled rack gets its distinctive flavor
from a healthy dose of black pepper cut with the sweetness of brown sugar and
the mild spice of paprika and cumin.  

Instant Pot®
Pork Ribs

45-minute ribs come together mostly hands-free using the Instant
flavorful rub with chili powder and brown sugar adds spicy-sweet heat before a
quick smoky finish on the grill and slathering of barbecue sauce.  

Orange and
Spice Glazed Ribs

The secret
ingredient for these tangy, not-too-sweet baby backs is probably already in
your pantry. The mild bitterness of orange marmalade combined with cider
vinegar and a trio of spices adds rich, layered flavor to oven-roasted pork
ribs finished on the grill.  

Slow Cooker Ribs

These tasty
ribs are inspired by a popular Korean barbecue dish called galbi.
Hoisin, orange juice, and sesame oil add complex flavor to country-style pork
ribs that cook hands-free in the slow cooker.  

Short Ribs
over Spaghetti Squash and Spinach

This low-carb
meal-in-one packs a hearty punch of vitamins and protein. Melt-in-your-mouth
slow cooked boneless beef short ribs pair perfectly with tender strands of
spaghetti squash and sauteed spinach with butter and fresh lemon.  

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